Photo Album

M. and I finally were both not sick on a weekend with decent weather. We headed to the Castle Peak area at Donner Pass north of I-80, and followed the snowmobile track to Andesite Ridge and the cross country up to Andesite Peak. A cold front was through in the afternoon, so it was partly sunny and partly cloudy. It was a good thing there were snowmobile tracks most of the way up, because the deep snow was very hard going otherwise. Great views of Castle Peak (photo above) with fast-moving clouds from the top of Andesite Peak. We came down via Castle Pass and the more popular trail through Castle Valley.

Trailhead directions: take the Castle Pass/Boreal exit from I-80 just west of Donner Pass. Park in the California Sno-Park lot south of I-80, east of Boreal Ski Area. Parking permits ($5/day) are available at the Boreal Inn motel.  Walk back through the underpass to reach the trailhead on the north side of the freeway.

Statistics:

5.29 mi (2.16 mi uphill, 2.51 mi downhill, 0.56 mi flat)
1050 ft total ascent –
3:51:36 total time (3:13:17 moving, 0:38:19 stopped)
0:36:30 pace (1.6 mph average speed, 4.3 mph max speed)
13.5 difficulty, 22.2 effort

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